Tag Archives: dinner for one

5-Minute Capellini with Tomatoes and Olives

I am an expert of the field of minimal effort cooking.  Mostly this happens on days when I’m just cooking for myself (or at the end of busy, crazy days, or lazy ones).  I threw together this light and tasty pasta in about 5 minutes the other night and man, it was good!

You could use any kind of olives in this, but I happened to have some Castelvetrano olives on hand so i used those.  I recently discovered these and it was love at first taste!  They are bright green and round, and very mild and a bit nutty in flavor.  If your grocery store has an olive bar, that will probably be your best bet if you’re interested in picking some up, but I do occasionally see a jar of them here and there as well.  If you can’t find them, feel free to sub the olive of your choice.

5-Minute Capellini with Tomatoes and Olives

5-Minute Capellini with Tomatoes and Olives

5-Minute Capellini with Tomatoes and Olives

Capellini or angel hair pasta
3-4 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
Handful of olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, very thinly sliced or minced
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Parmesan or feta cheese (optional)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil while you heat a small skillet over medium heat.  Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the skillet.  Toss in the pasta and keep an eye on it.  Capellini is very thin; it will only take about 4 minutes to cook.  While the pasta is cooking, saute the garlic in olive oil for about 30 seconds, until fragrant but not browned.  Add tomatoes and olives.  Turn heat down to low and give the mixture an occasional stir until the pasta is ready.  You really don’t need to cook the veggies much, mostly you are just heating them up and letting some of their juices release and combine to make it a little more saucy.

Just a little mingle in the heat to really bring out the flavor.

Just a little mingle in the heat to really bring out the flavor.

Taste and add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed (depending on the type of olives you use, you may not need much salt at all, if any).  Drain pasta (reserve a bit of the pasta water) and toss with tomato mixture.  If pasta seems dry you can add in a little bit of the reserved pasta water or drizzle with a touch of olive oil.  Serve immediately with a sprinkle of parmesan or feta if desired.

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Classic Steak Dinner

Usually when I have a night on my own I am pretty lazy about dinner.  Leftovers, a sandwich, or take out are the norm.  But every once in a while, I like to make something nice just for me.  I don’t eat a whole lot of red meat these days, so a steak is a special treat.  Ribeyes are my favorite, but choose whatever you like best.  I rounded it out with fresh broccoli and absolutely delicious roasted potato “chips.” A glass (or two) of juicy pinot noir and dark chocolate for dessert and I was a happy girl.  And if you’re not on your own, this is a nice meal to share too.

Steak with Wine & Mushrooms

Ribeye Steak with Wine & Mushrooms

Ribeye Steak (or whatever cut you prefer)
Sea salt & coarsely ground pepper
1/4 tsp. raw sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup red wine

Rub steak with salt, pepper & sugar.  Heat pan to medium high.  Melt the butter in the pan until bubbly.  Add steak to the pan.  I like my steak rare, so I cook mine about 3 minutes on each side.  If you like it done a little more, you may need to do 4-5 minutes per side.  Remove from pan and set on a plate to rest while you cook the mushrooms.  (Even if you don’t like mushrooms and choose to have your steak plain, let it rest a few minutes anyway, it will be more juicy!)  In the same pan you cooked the steak, over medium high heat add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt & pepper and add wine to the pan.  Bring to a boil and saute a few minutes until the wine begins to evaporate.  When most of the wine has disappeared, remove from heat and stir in the other 1/2 tbsp. butter.  Pour mushrooms over the steak and serve immediately.

Roasted Potato “Chips”

Roasted Potato “Chips”

Yukon Gold potatoes
Olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚.  Slice potatoes thinly (about 1/8 inch thick).  Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray.  Lay out the potato slices in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt & pepper.  Cook for about 20 minutes until starting to brown on top.  Taste one (carefully!) to see if they are as crispy as you like.  I prefer mine crispy on the edges but still chewy.  Cook a little longer if you want them more crunchy.

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